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Long and complex investigation

Member: Nifa

A “long and complex” investigation into money laundering across the UK has culminated in prison sentences for nine people who preyed on vulnerable elderly victims. The investigation was carried out by the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit’s Regional Fraud Team (SEROCU), who said that it began in 2014.

As a spokeswoman for SEROCU said after the sentencing earlier this month,
the offenders targeted vulnerable elderly victims, whom they tricked into giving them large sums of cash, sometimes their life savings, without any care for the impact this would have on their victims.

She added that without the money launderers, who are prepared knowingly to allow their accounts to be used to launder the proceeds of crime, these abhorrent crimes would not have happened.

According to SEROCU, these convictions send out a clear message to offenders that the Unit will pursue all those involved in such crimes. The next step will be to aim to try and get compensation for the victims, in an attempt to recover the money they have spent a lifetime working for.

Money launderers are key to criminal activity, as without them, crooks are unable to spend the money they steal, as it would be too easy to trace. This is why the courts come down so hard on money launderers, as they literally ‘clean’ the money, enabling it to be hidden and integrated into legitimate commerce.

However, forensic accountants, such as the ones used in this case, know every possible means of washing money and will follow the money trail, however complex the route, from the point where it is introduced into the financial system to where it finally lands. This means that they can help identify which funds came from legitimate sources and which may not have done.

Author: Roger Isaacs, 16 January 2018

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